Georgia Deer News

Georgia Deer Forecast for 2015 September 2, 2015 Game & Fish
... 1972 to ... 2012... the deer herd has grown from 253,000 to 990,000, having peaked at 1,352,000 in 1998.  The total number of deer hunters was 220,900 in 1972, peaked at 335,600 in 1992 and has trended downward to 318,113 in 2012... The Blue Ridge Mountains contain about 15 to 20 deer per square mile (PSM), while the fertile Piedmont and Upper Coastal Plain regions have 25 to 30 deer PSM...

Rangers rescue deer trapped in cemetery fence August 14, 2015 Georgia, WSB Atlanta
... the fawns were likely siblings born this spring. He believes they may have gotten trapped early Wednesday morning while they were out with their mom ...

A Department of Natural Resource ranger rescued two deer hanging from a fence at a Hall County cemetery. A photo shows the young deer stuck in a wrought-iron fence inside the cemetery. The deer almost made it through the fence, but their back legs wouldn’t fit through the opening.



New Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide Available Online and In Print August 5, 2015 GDNR
     The 2015-2016 Georgia Hunting Seasons and Regulations Guide is available online and in print, announces the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. This guide provides important information on season dates, bag limits, hunting licenses, wildlife management areas, quota hunts, youth opportunities and much more. You may view, download and print the guide at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/regulations . Pick up a printed copy at Wildlife Resources Division offices and license vendors throughout Georgia...

...  the Georgia Department of Natural Resources says it’s time to increase basic hunting and fishing license fees for operational purposes for the first time since 1981... . The new fee structure provides the basic hunting license for $15. To hunt big game, deer or bear for example, the fee goes up to $40 from $9 and that includes the right to hunt on one of the state-managed WMAs ...

Deer Harvest survey Results available July 15, 2015 Georgia, Examiner 
...  Since at least 1962, WRD has used scientifically valid, survey methodology to get estimates of not only deer harvest, but also harvest estimates of other game species. Harvest estimates are obtained by asking a random sample of approximately 2,500 licensed Georgia deer hunters ... [Total:  412,068 see summary]

Jekyll Island deer welcome news that they are now official July 14, 2015 Georgia, Macon Telegraph 
... The Jekyll Island Authority had been making noises about shooting the deer on the island ... backed off the plan temporarily, saying they have decided to do a study first. I don’t think they need a study to know that tourists come to Jekyll Island to see the deer and not members of the Jekyll Island Authority. That’s an ego-buster, I’m sure, but sometimes the truth hurts...

5 things to know about Georgia's new official state mammal July 1, 2015 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution
... the Department of Natural Resources claims that there are currently over 1.2 million white-tailed deer in Georgia...

What's The Truth About Coyotes And Deer? June 17, 2015 Georgia, Georgia Outdoor News Forum
... Have witnessed them hunting grown deer, not fawns, in packs during the fall twice in recent years. Have watched a 2.5 yr old buck run by with his tongue hanging out in the daylight followed by five yotes... any deer management plan that doesn't take it into account is missing a big piece of the puzzle...

... new hunting regulations that include a single season, rather than separate closing dates for the “Northern Zone” and “Southern Zone.”  This year’s firearms season, thus, will be from Oct. 17 to Jan. 10, 2016 in all counties except a handful ... 

Public Meetings Set for Revised Wildlife Plan June 12, 2015 Georgia, DNR News
... Public feedback on the SWAP helps ensure that the wildlife millions of Georgians enjoy is conserved now and for future generations.  While the draft can be read and comments made at www.georgiawildlife.com/conservation/wildlife-action-plan, Georgia DNR is also inviting people to learn more and voice their opinions at the following three sessions, all set for 6-8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 1: Georgia Wildlife Federation, 11600 Hazelbrand Road, Covington.
Tuesday, July 7: Go Fish Education Center, just off I-75 (Exit 134), Perry.
Wednesday, July 8: Susan Shipman Environmental Learning Center, Georgia DNR Coastal Regional Headquarters, One Conservation Way, Brunswick.
     The draft State Wildlife Action Plan is open for comment until July 15.

... Some of the major changes include establishing a uniform statewide deer season. “Deer may be taken statewide with firearms authorized by law in accordance with the counties, sex and seasons ...

Local man saves drowning newborn deer May 29, 2015 Georgia, WSB-TV Atlanta 
... A newborn deer refused to leave her human hero’s side after he saved it from drowning in a lake in his backyard in Grantville, south of Atlanta...



Epizootiology of Cranial Abscess Disease in white-tailed Deer of Georgia S Cohen, EH Belser, CH Killmaster, JW Bowers… - Journal of wildlife diseases, 2015
...  Model results indicated that the probability of a male having a cranial abscess increased with age and that adult sex ratio (male:female) was positively associated with this disease. Site-specific variables for land cover and soil types were not strongly associated with observations of the disease at the scale measured and a large amount of among-site variability remained...

If you care, leave them there May 21, 2015 Georgia, Daily Bulldog 
... “Well-meaning people sometimes take in young wildlife in the mistaken belief that they have been abandoned,” ... A deer may leave its fawn hidden in the leaves on the forest floor if it’s too young to come along to forage for food...

...  In the Southeast, coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) can be major sources of fawn mortality and may limit some white-tailed deer populations.  We captured and radio-collared 47 fawns at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in southwestern Georgia during 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012 to quantify cause-specific mortality and survival. Fawn survival to 20 weeks of age (i.e., opening day of firearms season) was 29.0%. Coyote predation accounted for 52.4% of all fawn mortalities and 68.7% of predation-caused mortalities, while bobcat predation accounted for only 9.5% of all mortalities and 12.5 % of all predation...

... The price of a Georgia fishing and hunting license hasn’t gone up since 1992 ...  the number of people buying licenses has been relatively unchanging in recent years, despite Georgia’s population growth ...

WRD Proposes More Buck-Only Days Next Deer Season May 8, 2015 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald 
... After more than a decade of basically no limit (12 deer per hunter per season) and every day being either-sex, the thinking that we can’t kill too many does has been “re-thunk.” The elephant in the Georgia deer woods looks exactly like a coyote... They eat enough deer that, for now, hunters are going to have to shoot fewer deer... Doe days are how the deer harvest is reduced...

Effects of predation risk and group dynamics on white-tailed deer foraging behavior in a longleaf pine savanna MJ Cherry, LM Conner, RJ Warren - Behavioral Ecology, 2015
... We investigated the effects of predation risk on white-tailed deer foraging behavior by manipulating predator distributions through exclusion ... Predator exclusion resulted in a 5% increase in the time females spent feeding during the summer, concurrent with fawning; and 13.4% increase in the time males spent feeding during winter, while in postrut condition. Males were more vigilant than females and demonstrated a stronger response to predator exclusion...

Georgia's latest symbol: The white-tailed deer May 1, 2015 Atlanta Journal Constitution
... The kids chose the fox after learning that Georgia was one of three states with no official mammal, but sided with the ubiquitous deer after Department of Natural Resources rangers lobbied them to change it...

Coyote-tracking study is working well so far April 26, 2015 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle 
... A study launched three months ago to track coyotes using GPS telemetry is progressing smoothly ... at least two have managed to cross the Savannah River into South Carolina. Gulsby said the animals likely swam ...

Meet the New State Mammal April 12, 2015 Georgia, Patch
... Recently, the white-tailed deer have been honored as the official state mammal by the Georgia General Assembly... a group of Boy Scouts made the gray fox proposal. Enter in the state Department of Natural Resources which “convinced” the boys and eventually the Georgia General Assembly to change the recognition to the white-tailed deer...

No set procedure for installing deer crossing signs April 11, 2015 Georgia, Gainesville Times
... Between the 6300 and 6600 block of Yellow Creek Road in Murrayville, deer are regularly killed or left hurting due to being hit by motor vehicles ...  the Georgia Department of Transportation occasionally will place deer crossing signs, but there are no set procedures for requesting a sign in your area ...

2015-2017 Proposed Hunting Regulations: Public Hearings Scheduled April 7, 2015 Georgia, Examiner
... The public notice and synopsis of proposed rule changes are available on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division webpage at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/ProposedRegulations ...

Two Watkinsville men cited for killing deer out of season April 1, 2015 Georgia, Oconee Enterprise
... Cavorting with cows in the urban pasture on Simonton Bridge Road, a buck sporting 10 velvety points attracted no small amount of interest last summer... When he was shot illegally in July, the outrage was immediate against the unnamed perpetrators...

2015-2017 Proposed Hunting Regulations: Public Hearings Scheduled March 27, 2015 Gerogia, GDNR News
     Hunters and other interested citizens are encouraged to review proposed changes to hunting regulations for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons and make plans to attend a scheduled public hearing. [click on link above for meeting schedule].  “The purpose of hunting regulations is to manage renewable wildlife resources consistent with the scientific principles of wildlife management while meeting public objectives for wise use of these resources,” said Tina Brunjes, Operations Manager with the Game Management Section.  “At this point in the process, we are interested in public comments specific to the proposed changes under consideration.”  
     The public notice and synopsis of proposed rule changes are available on the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division webpage

Two Watkinsville men charged with killing deer 8 months ago March 27, 2015 Georgia, Athens Banner-Herald 
... The deer, a buck with 10-point antlers, was a common sight along the well-traveled road that motorists often take to Athens. Allen, on whose pasture the deer grazed with his cattle, had nicknamed the deer “Bucky,” because it never ran from him and seemed content spending time in the pasture...

White‐tailed deer fawn recruitment before and after experimental coyote removals in central Georgia WD Gulsby, CH Killmaster, JW Bowers, JD Kelly… - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2015
... Recent evidence from across the southeastern United States indicating high predation rates by coyotes (Canis latrans) on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns has led some managers to implement coyote control...  Fawn recruitment on Cedar Creek WMA did not differ among years during the study, and was similar to that prior to coyote arrival. The differential coyote impacts and variable effectiveness of trapping we observed on nearby sites suggest coyote control may not achieve management objectives in some areas. Furthermore, transient behavior and the potential for coyotes to adapt to control efforts likely reduce efficacy of this management action ...

Whitetails have a 90-day fat supply entering winter, so by March they may be running low, especially if winter lingers or particularly harsh weather hits late. To help bridge the gap to spring, provide more of the winter foods deer are accustomed to: natural browse. - March 9, 2015


Fox out, deer in as state mammal in House bill February 23, 2015 Georgia, Atlanta Journal Constitution
... State lawmakers on Monday voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation naming the ubiquitous deer Georgia’s official state mammal. While House Bill 70 originally bestowed that honor to the gray fox ...

... Biologists warn that coyotes in some areas are having a devastating effect on fawns — and that has implications for future generations of the whitetail deer... “Removing/killing coyotes simply opens up territory for others to move in and occupy,” Mowry said ...

Jekyll Island Authority holds its fire on deer population February 17, 2015 Georgia, Macon Telegraph (blog)
... last year members of the Jekyll Island Authority decreed that ... the herd needed to be thinned out. The JIA had plans to shoot them... The Jekyll Island Authority has now backed off plans to bring sharpshooters on the island to thin out the herd. Instead, they say they want to study the problem some more... Government authorities are good at that kind of thing...

Project to track coyotes in three states February 7, 2015 Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle
... the University of Georgia on a groundbreaking study of coyotes across Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama... Wildlife managers say there is mounting evidence that coyotes have drastically reduced deer fawn survival...

...   “Prescribed fire benefits reforestation, aesthetics and forest access. It is also the most economically feasible land management tool for maintaining wildlife habitats for many species, including bobwhite quail, eastern wild turkey, white-tailed deer, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and countless songbirds.” [Neal Edmondson, Prescribed Burn Coordinator for the Georgia Forestry Commission]

...  will hold its fire on a proposal to have sharpshooters kill deer at the state park, and instead will study whether the abundant deer population is damaging the island's maritime forests...

Jekyll Island to revisit deer policy after months of silence January 18, 2015 Georgia, News Channel 9 ·
... Many residents such as Bonnie Newell have vocally opposed killing any deer, saying it would tarnish Jekyll Island's reputation for wildlife conservation...

     Predators can exert powerful influence on their prey, independent of direct killing, by inducing antipredator responses. Coyotes (Canis latrans) have recently achieved abundances capable of influencing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population demography in the southeastern USA, but the effects of antipredator responses have not been reported ... his work provided evidence that coyotes can influence white-tailed deer space use and vigilance while foraging, and documented a negative relationship between coyote abundance and body mass of adult female deer during an 11-year period...

UGA Deer Lab to partner in coyote study January 16, 2015 Georgia, Online Athens
... Coyotes, which are not native to Georgia and southeastern states, are a likely cause of drastic reductions in the survival rates of deer fawns....

Study on Coyotes Will Provide Needed Information for Management January 15, 2015 Gerogia, GDNR News
...   A new multi-agency study, scheduled to begin in 2015, will help answer many coyote-related questions, including determining what types of resources, such as prey availability and hiding cover, are important to coyotes when establishing territories.  “We know that coyotes play a critical role in ecological communities,” says project coordinator Joseph Hinton, a University of Georgia post-doctoral researcher.  “But, they are a relatively new predator to Georgia that rapidly colonized the state... More Information: Full News Release re: Coyote Study,  Coyote Information - Georgia Wildlife Resources Division,  Coyote Study - University of Georgia

... “The deer population in the state has definitely come down,” said Don McGowan, regional operations manager for Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division, which organized the Wilkes County meeting and seven similar gatherings across the state last week.
Georgia’s deer herd peaked more than a decade ago at 1.6 million to 1.7 million animals, he said. “Today, it’s down to about 1 million –we think.”  The decline has been attributed to overhunting, liberal bag limits, longer seasons and the rapid spread of coyotes, which prey on fawns each spring...

Georgia data: About 990,000 deer in 2015, 1 to 1.1 million deer in 2014, estimated at 900,000 to 1 million in 2011 to 2013. The 2014 Deer Management plan calls for holding the herd stable at the 2014 level.  The 2005 Deer Management plan intentionally reduced the herd size. In 2013, hunters requested a shorter hunting season to support the deer population.  Coyote predation and changes in the timber industry that have impacted habitat are pushing deer numbers down. Reduced doe harvest was begun in 2013 to offset predation.  About 300,000 deer hunters.
     At the beginning of the 19th century deer were hunted to near extinction, with a few local herds remaining.[History] The first restocking began in 1927.  By 1937, the herd was estimated at about 12,500, the result of unregulated hunting.  The bulk of the restocking was from 1948 to 1965 and continued into the early 1980's. Conservation efforts brought the population to about 220,000 by 1972 and peaked at 1,352,000 in 1998.  Some sources put the peak at 1.6 to 1.7 million.  An estimated 1.3 million in 2001.  In the early 1980's, does accounted for only about a quarter of the harvest, an effort to boost the population.  Yearling bucks were the majority of the deer taken.  Since 2002 the state has focused on balanced demographics, with the doe harvest about 60 percent of the total through 2012. 

Poacher Hotline:  The public can reach the TIP hotline by dialing 1-800-241-4113, by dialing *DNR on a cell phone, or by sending an email to RangerHotline@dnr.state.ga.us   Those reporting should try to obtain the following information: the type of violation, a description of the violator, description of the violator’s vehicle, and the date, time and location of the violation.

Georgia DNR Wildlife News

Other useful links:
Amicalola Deer Park in Dawsonville, North Georgia 

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